THE LEGEND OF HERCULES
About The Film
THE STORY OF HERCULES
The teachings of Greek mythology have fascinated generations for thousands of
countless tales about the origins of our world and the beliefs of Ancient
Greece. One of the most
infamous of myths is that of Hercules--the demigod born to a mortal woman and the
god Zeus--who is
celebrated for his legendary adventures, courageous battles, and resounding
victories. The complexity
of Hercules' story drew interest from the film's director and producer, Renny
Harlin, when he was just a
"When I was a little kid, I was really into history, especially the history
of Ancient Greece," said
Harlin. "I remember at school during history class being so interested in
studying mythology that I'd
draw everything down to the weapons they used and the different architectural
details. I became so
enthralled by imagining what their world was like." His curiosity and
captivation with Greek mythology
was the driving force behind this passion project he's described as an
incredibly fulfilling experience--
one that realized his fantasies of incorporating his childhood visions, and many
elements from his
favorite films and works of literature. Through substantial research, Harlin
brought all of this together in
an amalgamation and injected a visually epic scope into the film.
"I really enjoyed the research behind this film--reading books and getting a
understanding of Ancient Greece and mythology," said Harlin. "How in those
times, there was a god for
everything to help people understand and cope with their world and their lives.
If there was a storm, or
thunder, death or love--there was a god to find every purpose."
For writers Sean Hood and Daniel Giat, the myth and infamous story of this
demi-god also spoke
to them and drew them to the project. "It's the age-old story of the struggle
between fate and free will,
between one's responsibility to humanity and one's more personal desires," said
Giat. "Is Hercules'
foretold role as savior to his people and his homeland a greater calling than
his desire and need for his
great love? Can both impulses be fulfilled in life? I think those questions are
drama's greatest theme."
Harlin's passion for the story fueled Giat's imagination. "Renny's excitement
was infectious," said Giat. "He was truly enthralled with each new idea I
proposed, freeing my creativity
in a way I rarely experience."
In his research the filmmaker was especially intrigued by the influence
Hercules' story has had
on many of today's super heroes. "Whether in comic books, in modern literature,
or even today's
blockbuster heroes--there are threads of Hercules' story," said Harlin. "He's
always been the ultimate
super hero throughout history."
However, the filmmaker was interested in telling a story that did not simply
recount the same
myths told over time, but instead wanted to provide a counter perspective
focusing on the man.
"People can already picture Hercules as this huge, muscular man who goes around
things--but we really wanted to break away from that and introduce audiences to
Hercules as a young
man who is conflicted with his identity," said Harlin. "We're starting from the
very beginning of Hercules
coming to terms with who he is. And at the heart of our film, is actually a love
story that shows his range
of emotions as a man."
"While I was tasked with creating a new sort of origin story for Hercules--I
hoped to tap into
both the violence and the redemption that originally inspired me in the classic
tales," said Hood. "And
it's ultimately a story about how one's personal needs and selfish desires must
be put aside to embrace
larger responsibilities and an inescapable destiny."
Hood began writing with the villain. "I imagined Hercules' stepfather as a
ruthless, sadistic and
jealous tyrant, said Hood. "Then I imagined how this man would react if he
suspected his wife was
unfaithful and that his son was not his own. So in the first act we have a
cruel, suspicious father, a
mother with a secret, brothers set against each other, lovers torn from each
other's arms, and a hero
banished. The set-up is a combination of Greek tragedy and a kind-of
dysfunctional family drama."
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